After several months of intensive preparations more than 60 young people from 12 European countries arrived on Saturday in Zagreb (Croatia) to participate in the International summer camp “Venues of victims // Venues of perpetrators. Mapping, decoding & processing the role of historical – civic education in (European) Youth Work“. The project focused on the relation between historic-civic education and (contemporary) Human Rights Education is implemented in close collaboration between youth education institutions, youth NGOs, foundations, museums, remembrance sites and research institutions from Belgium, France, Croatia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Germany. The summer camp deals with different perspectives and core themes as the interdependency between ideological order and representation of history, the totalitarian and authoritarian regimes in Europe of the 20th century and contemporary challenges in Croatia as well as common, European issues nowadays.
In order to have these different perspectives the camp will take place on different venues in Croatia as Zagreb, followed by Vukovar, Pula and Rijeka. All activities during the camp are implemented by young youth leaders, supported by a project team and external experts.
The first two days in Zagreb were shaped by the first mutual getting to know each other, the exploration of the local environment and the debate of the theme “ideological orders and representation of the past” with the main focus on “representation of past in the museum” as well as “history in the public space”. The participants are facing now three intensive days in Jasenovac and Vukovar, characterized by dealing with the themes “ideologically motivated violence” and “violence in the context of post-communist transformation”.
It's nearly impossible to mention specific highlights due to the enormous amount of visited places and encounters. Nevertheless the following program elements can be emphasized:
On the way to Vukovar the group will visit the former concentration camp of Jasenovac. The visit of the camp site is part of the theme “ideologically motivated violence in the context of the 2nd World War”. Jasenovac is contested in the Croatian and Serbian general public since decades and it represents an important element of populist rhetoric in both countries. In Vukovar, a city marked by the secession war in former Yugoslavia the participants have the opportunity to meet the representatives of the initiative “Zenski Sud” (Women’s Court) and to deal with testimonies of experiences with injustice and violence today and in times of the civil war.
Also the visit of the “SENSE Center for Transitional Justice“ in Pula is dedicated to nowadays dealing with the experiences of violence in Croatia and other post-Yugoslav countries. Furtherly, the participants will focus the issue of „ideologically motivated violence after 1945” by visiting the former “re-education camp“ on the island of Goli (Goli otok).
The project is financially supported by the program Erasmus+ Youth in Action, the Commissioner for Culture and Media of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Children- and Youth Plan of the Federal State of Thuringia (KJP).